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Home > Software > Solutions for ARM > Fastboot for TS-7400

 

1.10s Fast Boot Linux for TS-7400

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Technologic Systems continues to improve its embedded Linux software solutions for the ARM products. The new TS-7400 System-on-Module (SoM) computer is able to boot super fast to a Linux shell prompt in 1.10 seconds. This is extreme speed for applications that need a fast system response right after power on, enabling Linux to be used as the OS of choice for these applications.

When used in combination with the Linux “bootload” program developed by Technologic Systems, the fast bootup solution turns into a powerful, small, reliable and fast bootloader, 100% Linux-based and capable of loading other Linux kernels, other Operating Systems, or other customer applications.

How It Works

The TS-7400 SoM boots to Linux from NAND flash using the proprietary TS-FLASHBOOT bootup firmware residing in ROM memory. It can also boot from an SD card, through the TS-SDBOOT firmware. These small pieces of software do the very basic hardware initialization and provide “load from flash” mechanisms.

The TS-7400 Ultra-Fast bootup solution was optimized for speed and includes kernel, initrd, and filesystem (Busybox) tweaks. The bootstrap setup is very similar to the 1.69s Fast Bootup for TS-7300, but is almost 30% faster. In addition, the hardware accelerated NAND flash controller is a unique feature implemented in the on-board CPLD that provides hardware ECC, allowing the system to skip software ECC during startup and enabling bootup to a Linux shell prompt in 1.1 seconds. Since the TS-7400 actually boots to an initrd with a read-only mounted filesystem, it is possible to have something other than a shell prompt running after bootup by editing the /linuxrc shell script on the initrd.

For further information, please refer to the TS-7400 manual.

How To Use It

The TS-7400 board has Linux installed by default on on-board flash. Upon bootup, the board will boot within 1.1 seconds to a Linux prompt on UART #0 (/dev/ttyAM0). The default fastboot shell has available several standard Linux commands accommodated by the "busybox" program. Technologic Systems has made several modifications to the busybox source code to keep bootup as fast and simple as possible. The modified busybox source code is available to Technologic Systems' customers at:

 

Upon bootup, you should see out of your serial port:

>> TS-FLASHBOOT - built Sep 27 2006
>> Copyright (c) 2006, Technologic Systems
.
.
.
Finished booting in 1.10 seconds
Type 'tshelp' for help
$

At this point, if you type 'exit' from the serial shell, the TS-7400 will then attempt a full Debian Linux bootup from the SD card on partition #3. Should you wish to automatically bypass the fastboot and proceed directly into starting the SD card version of Linux, you can do so with the following command issued to the fastboot shell:

$ ln -sf /linuxrc-sdroot /linuxrc; save

For the on-board flash the command is:

$ ln -sf /linuxrc-mtdroot /linuxrc; save

For the USB flash dongle or USB hard drive:

$ ln -sf /linuxrc-usbroot /linuxrc; save

To get back to the fastboot shell, you can do so by placing the file "/fastboot" in the root directory of the filesystem.

 

To learn how to install the fastboot solution for other boards, visit our general Linux Fastboot page.

For further information, contact a Technologic Systems engineer.